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Smith again rejects WOFs for houses

Smith again rejects WOFs for houses

A Building Industry Federation call for compulsory warrants of fitness for houses needs to be slapped down, United Future's Murray Smith said today.

"This is the second time in two months that a building industry lobby group has proposed this, and, quite frankly, they need to be told to pull their heads in," Mr Smith said.

"A cynic might well suggest that with the construction bubble likely to come to an end with rising interest rates, the federation is simply trying to drum up new business for its members," Mr Smith said.

"Unfortunately this would be done by imposing yet more cost and bureaucracy on your average Kiwi. And they are bandying a figure of $300 to $400 around."

The BIF submission to the Government Administration Select Committee calls for a warrant of fitness to be obtained at the time a house is put up for sale.

"This is completely unnecessary. Any sensible buyer can continue to do what they have always done - obtain a professional report as to the soundness and condition of the property that they are interested in buying.

"We don't need bureaucrats or building lobby groups sticking their noses in," Mr Smith said.

"You would think that your home would be the one place where you could escape Nanny State - but not if the Building Industry Federation has its way," he said.

"Any homeowners who do not adequately maintain their properties are likely to either have trouble selling them or get a heavily reduced price. That is incentive enough for most people to maintain their homes to a reasonable standard, and for those who do not, that is their choice in the end.

"But I have seen no reports of houses falling down around people's heads that would warrant legal intervention," he said.

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